Trai Turner Drafted, Running backs Rejoice
Sometimes it takes some digging to find the motivation behind draft picks. Sometimes it is completely obvious.
The Carolina Panthers selection of Trai Turner in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft is a no brainer.
One of the biggest flaws of the Panthers offense last season was a lack of push at the point of contact. The offensive line struggled all season to move the chains on short distances. Hampered by injuries and mediocre offensive guard talent at best, they failed to move the chains in the running game.
So when Trai Turner, who Mel Kiper labeled as one of the best under the radar players in the draft, was still available in the third round for the Panthers the selection was possibly the easiest of the draft so far.
Turner has work to do and much to learn, but at a hog mollyish 6'3 and 310lbs he can do one thing for the Panthers immediately. He can pave the road for Williams and Stewart. While Turner struggled at times at LSU in pass protection, he excelled in run blocking. Scouts praise his ability to get push off the line and finish his blocks with the defenders on the ground. He also showed the ability to find linebackers after his first blocks are finished, something the guards last season were rarely able to accomplish. The result could be more reliable 4-5 yard runs and sustained drives.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone that watched the Panthers play last year that would disagree with this pick. He could very well start immediately, which is a rare find in the third round.